B2B Marketers: What’s Your Foot-in-the-Door?

by Jennifer Beever

Foot in doorThere’s something your customers and prospects need – badly – and you have the solution. But, they may not even know what they need. The answer might be your “foot-in-the-door.” It’s a new process or product that, if you only had it, will result in value-add for your customers and opening doors (and customer revenue) for you.

When I was in the software industry, we had an inventor named Richard in our customer service department. He would spend all day talking to our customers who were maintenance engineers. These engineers spent their time throughout their company facilities, fixing what was broken or doing preventative maintenance to avoid break-downs. They’d typically print work orders or job lists from our software and use them as check lists and reporting devices as they did the work.

Richard had been playing around with hand-held computers and came up with the idea to load the work orders on a handheld device. He programmed it at night and brought in a prototype to show to our top management. They encouraged his extra work, and soon we were the only software company in our space that allowed customers to work without paper and with real-time transactions.

The paperless system became our foot-in-the-door. Our salespeople were able to go back into accounts, sell something new and stand out from the competition when dealing with new prospects.

Do you have a foot-in-the-door? Listen to your customers, watch industries that parallel yours, analyze new technologies. Find out what’s new and then market it as a solution for your customers. Be ready when demand for your solution begins to increase so you can strike while the iron is hot – your competition will soon follow.

Photo from Flickr, AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by temporalata


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